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Human Rights & Working Conditions Policy

Umicore fully supports the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As stated in the “Umicore Way”, we are committed to uphold fundamental human rights and respect those rights in conducting the Group’s operations throughout the world. In this document, Umicore’s commitment to the respect of Human Rights and Working Conditions is described in more detail. 

This policy applies to all Umicore employees, all subsidiaries and joint ventures where Umicore has operational control and to all subcontractors, working on the sites of Umicore.

In accordance with this Policy on Human Rights and Working Conditions, Umicore fully supports the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and commits itself to respect all International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labor standards as set out below.

1. Banning of child labor

Umicore undertakes not to employ children in violation of conventions 138 and 182 of the ILO. In any case, Umicore will apply the age of 18 as the minimum age for employment, except in the framework of internship- or vocational training programs, organized in co-operation with schools and training institutes or approved by the competent authority. Special care will be taken that these young people, with a minimum age of 15, are fully protected and have received adequate safety training and instructions.

2. Banning of forced labor

In accordance with ILO conventions 29 and 105, Umicore will under no circumstances make use of forced or bonded labor, such as forced labor by persons placed in an institution, or compulsory labor including labor as a means of political coercion or education.

3. Right to organize and collective bargaining

In accordance with ILO conventions 87 and 98, Umicore recognizes and respects the freedom of its employees to choose whether to establish or to associate with any employee organization of their own choosing (including labor unions) without Umicore’s prior authorization. 

The employment of a worker is not contingent upon the condition that he/she joins or not joins a union or be forced to relinquish trade union membership. Furthermore, union membership shall not be the cause for the dismissal of - or otherwise prejudice against - a worker. Umicore will not interfere with or finance labor organizations or take other actions with the intent of placing such organizations under its control.

Umicore subscribes to the principles of ILO Convention 135 and Recommendation 143 and recognizes the right of its employees to be represented by labor unions and other employee organizations to collectively bargain on employment conditions. 

Umicore and the respective employee organizations will co-operate constructively in a spirit of good faith. Even in cases of dispute the goal shall always be to maintain viable co-operation in the long term. This implicates, amongst others, the mutual respect of agreed commitments. 

4. Equal opportunities / Non-discrimination

In accordance to ILO convention 100 and 111, Umicore is committed to an inclusive work culture and appreciates and recognizes that all people are unique and valuable and should be respected for their individual abilities. Umicore does not accept any form of harassment or discrimination based on gender, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, cultural background, social group, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, age or political opinion. 

Umicore shall provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees fairly. Umicore employees and business units shall only use merit, qualifications and other professional criteria as the basis for employee-related decisions in Umicore, regarding for instance recruitment, training, compensation and promotion.

In countries that apply “positive action” programs or quota on certain minority groups Umicore will follow the country legislation. 

5. Remuneration

It is acknowledged and agreed that all employees of Umicore are entitled to adequate remuneration (ILO Convention No. 100). Remuneration and all the other benefits are based on the principle of fairness and comply with the individual national legal standards or the standards of the national branches or company collective labor agreements, whichever is higher.

6. Working time and paid holidays

Umicore makes sure that the national regulations and agreements on working hours and regular paid holiday are adhered to. 

7. Health and safety at work

Umicore does not compromise on a safe and healthy working environment for all employees and is committed to offering safe and healthy workplaces in accordance with national legislation. It seeks continuous improvement of its occupational health and safety performance.

8. Qualification

Umicore is committed to promoting measures aimed at the qualification of employees to the extent that broadening and consolidation of professional and technical knowledge is relevant for a particular job. In this context, vocational training and employment training are of particular importance and can be seen as a shared responsibility on one hand for the employer to provide the necessary training, and on the other hand for each employee to take up the offered training.